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The Vanishing Politicians

Trick or Treat? This is the day when ghosts are said to walk. When witches fly and cauldrons bubble and wickedness comes out to play. Halloween.

Here in Britain, we got an early taste of it this week. Something scary happened. A bunch of our politicians went into a room and overthrew their boss. Imagine the Republican party doing the same thing to George Bush. Ridiculous idea. Or is it?

You sit back and eat your pumpkin. I'll tell you a story.

This is the tale of the British Conservative party – the nearest thing we've got to the Republicans. Around Halloween, and for no apparent reason, they plot, connive, and scheme against their leaders. And then they go in and get 'em. The score so far – four in thirteen years. Politically dead – just like that.

First to the slaughter - Margaret Thatcher. Remember her? Tough lady. Big mates with Ronnie Reagan. Didn't make any difference though. They cast her out with venom.

Then came John Major, never heard of him? Not surprising. Only lasted a few years. Chop. William Hague was next. A tiny man with a squeaky voice. He knew they were after him and quit just in time.

But this week they got their latest victim - Iain Duncan Smith, silly name and as much charisma as a turnip. You see, the British Conservative party likes to be popular, and when it isn't, they take it out on the man at the top.

You're thinking, what's this got to do with us? I'll tell you. We Brits were masters of politics long before George Washington came out of diapers. And you Americans have a quaint affection for the way we do things. When American Presidents come here, we usually lay on a big parade. Well Mr Bush is coming here in a couple of weeks, and – you know what – no parade at all. Because George W Bush is far from popular ever since the Iraq war. We're very fond of America, don't get me wrong, but if the British people had a say, your Mr Bush would end up like Iain Duncan Smith - history.

Think about that as you sip your Vampire Punch tonight.
By Ed Boyle

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